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FreeMarkets Reports Smaller-Than-Expected Loss

Updated from 6:04 p.m. ET

Business-to-business auctioneer



, following a string of generally positive quarterly reports among its peers, reported a smaller-than-expected loss Monday for its third quarter.

The company said that, excluding certain charges, its loss for the quarter was 33 cents a share, significantly better the expected loss of 42 cents a share, according to

First Call/Thomson Financial


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FreeMarkets' revenue for the quarter grew to $26.6 million, nearly five times as much as the year-earlier's $5.4 million. But sequentially, its revenue increase was only 37%, significantly less than gains seen at competitors such as



, where the sequential gain was 67%.

Glen Meakem, FreeMarkets chairman and CEO, upped the company's timeline for reaching profitability to the first quarter of 2002. The company had been guiding analysts that it would become profitable in the third quarter of 2002.

Transaction volume over FreeMarkets' software grew to $2.93 billion in the quarter, up 34% sequentially. To date, the company has conducted nearly $10.6 billion in online auctions, a number it says makes it the largest B2B auctioneer in the world.

In after-hours trading, shares of FreeMarkets were trading at $51.63 each, according to


. In regular trading Monday, the shares closed up $2.47, or 5.2%, at $49.97.